The answer is probably yes. Everyone thinks their voice and opinions are unique. Whether its someone who read one article once, or heard it from someone else, or whether they have a tonne of knowledge on the issue, they are going to act like they formed the opinion themselves. Every time someone starts a blog, or a post on Facebook or whatever the outlet may be (hypocrite, I know) they think that maybe their voice is unique. But if everyone is doing it, what makes it unique? Is it the content? or is there ever even fresh content anymore, like at this point hasn’t everything been said already?
Whether it’s the big stuff or the little stuff it has probably been touched on in some way or another. I guess, at the beginning, the essence of writing was about making people feel understood and less alone. Because if you ever read something that was about something that you thought you were the only that thought about, you felt a slight connection to someone in a way. (That, or else thought theft; depends on whether your a glass half full or half empty kinda person) and yes, I realise that I am trying to form an opinion on opinion pieces.
Well, let’s give it a go. Something small to break myself in.
I recently read a passage in a book about the lost art of letter writing, which if I’m being honest is such a cliché topic. But, after a whole day of trying to write something, anything, it did get me thinking about the beginning of writing. Every time I type the last words to a blog post or attempt yet another short story, I can’t avoid the unrealistic dreams that flash before my eyes of being a (relatively) famous author or a journalist or anything which involves the creative use and playful manipulation of the English language. Then later on when I’m browsing the kindle book store my heart slowly sinks when I see the pages and pages and pages of new books published in the last month, never mind this year. So how does one begin to write something worthwhile or readable to even just one person? and on top of that, almost anyone can publish an e-book these days so how can you find the needle in the haystack? the shining star in the cloudy night? (Sorry, Just practising those future award winning metaphors).
Beats me. But back to the letter writing, is it so simple that people prefer quicker communication that they only have to concentrate about 40% of their mind on? Because if that’s the case, why is there blogs after blogs, similar and dissimilar to this one, popping up everyday with new voices? Because, people want to talk and they want to be heard. Everyday I’m on Facebook I see at least one 500 word rant, warning or plea. So I agree that people want to communicate and be heard with more speed, but I disagree that this is the reason for dying out traditions of letter writing or even pen pals. Not that I ever had a pen pal, but I always thought the idea was pretty fool proof growing up.
The main difference now is peoples need for privacy. To receive a letter, is for someone to know your exact address, your door number. From a family member or friend it is fine and touching, and even exciting. But from a stranger? whether by mistake or through the golden pages? It’s just straight up creepy. If someone asked for my address warning bells would immediately go off. My email address on the other hand is always up for grabs. Whether it’s to get a free trial of something, or access to Wifi or for actual correspondence I hand over my email address as easy as pie.
But then love letters on the other hand have no real excuse for dying out, so this is for sure down to smoother connectivity. At the end of the day if your writing someone a love letter you should surely be intimate enough to know where they live. But god forbid it got lost in the mail and fell into someone else’s hands? or worse, a family member or friend of the intended object of affection was nosy and read it first? Best just send a text. Or perhaps a love e-mail. (It could happen, right?)
How was that? You’ve heard it all before, right? Probably should have talked about the environment, Brexit, gender neutrality or some more relevant issues but let’s face it, we know there’s probably not much more you can say on those topics, right?